Like the restaurant after which it's named, Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking is technically a vegan cookbook. But if you read that last sentence carefully, you would have noticed the word 'vegetable' is used in the title, not vegetarian or vegan. While you won't see any animal products used here, the sensibility and soul of this kind of cooking goes way beyond labels and restrictions. This cookbook is about putting vegetables front and center in astonishing and innovated ways.
• Who wrote it: Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
• Who published it: The Experiment
• Number of recipes: Over 100
• Recipes for right now: Grilled Leek Salad with Black Lentils; Baby Scarlet Turnips and their Greens with Garlic Jus; Roasted Kabocha Squash with Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Madera; Apple Cake Fritters with Waldorf Frosting; Zucchini Bread French Toast.
• Other highlights: Vedge is a well-made, beautifully photographed book. It has all the things you would want in a cookbook: an easy-to-wipe-clean matte cover, many glossy photographs illustrating almost all of the dishes, a very nice pantry section, and a table of contents and an index. There's a glowing forward from Joe Yonan and a great introduction from the authors to set the context.
But the recipes are really why we're here in the first place and Vedge offers many tempting and intriguing selections. Beginning with a Small Bites and Small Plates section, you will find things like Spiced Little Carrots with Chickpea-Sauerkraut Puree and Lupini Beans with Piri Piri. There's a Soups and Stews section as well as Large Plate (aka Mains) and Desserts and Baked Goods, and Cocktails.
The section that most caught my eye was The Dirt List which is "fresh seasonal vegetables — much of it less than twenty-four hours out of the ground — cooked simply, yet embellished with clever garnishes to add a special twist. By keeping each vegetable true to its self, the results have been extraordinary." A few examples of this are Seared French Beans with Caper Bagna Cauda and Roasted Cauliflower with Black Vinegar and Kimchi Cream.
• Who would enjoy this book? Vegans, vegetarians and anyone looking to add more vegetables to their plates, of course. But this is also for people who are interested in innovative, exciting cooking. I would give this book to any creative, dedicated, meat-eating cook without hesitation.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Vedge by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
• Visit the author's website: Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Dana Velden)